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Aussie PM rebuffs election plan rumor

AUSTRALIA'S Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday denied placing his government on a footing for an early election amid reports he is growing frustrated with upper house obstructionism.

His preference was to serve his full term until the end of 2010, but his Labor Party wants to maximize options if the Senate rejects key carbon trade laws currently before parliament, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

"We are head-down-tail-up, wrestling with getting through this global recession," Rudd told local radio in response to questions about his election timing strategy.

Speculation that Rudd was looking closely at an early poll has been strong for months and intensified in newspaper reports at the weekend after Rudd shuffled the Cabinet following the surprise resignation of his defence minister.


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